National Newswatch

Erin O’Toole, socialist crusader

Aug 31 2021 — Justin Ling — “It may surprise you to hear a Conservative bemoan the decline of private sector union membership,” Erin O’Toole told captains of industry last year. But that’s exactly what the Conservative leader did, in a speech to the Canadian Club of Toronto no less. He lamented that where there was once a balance between workers and […]

Hint to strategists: Canadians are looking for a government

Aug 30 2021 — Paul Wells — Sunday was probably the worst day of the campaign for Erin O’Toole, though not for the reasons you’d suspect if you spent the weekend following Liberal emeritus strategists on Twitter. The strategists are terribly excited about angry protesters at Justin Trudeau’s events. Meanwhile O’Toole ran into difficulty in the relatively genteel confines of a Radio-Canada […]

‘Justin Trudeau does not do shakeups’: A fact-check

Aug 27 2021 — Paul Wells — Fascinating read from the Toronto Star this morning, as Liberals try to decide how worried to be. I think that, taken at the average, they reach the appropriate answer: only moderately worried. A lot of possibilities remain for saving Justin Trudeau’s campaign from ignominious and surprising defeat. And even if none of them end up […]

Sunny Ways O’Toole?

Aug 27 2021 — Andrew MacDougall — Tone. While much of the world of politics focuses on the words used to convey policy or political attacks, the people outside of politics focus more on how that policy or attack is conveyed. Tone matters. Tone has been a major issue for the Conservative Party of Canada since its founding in 2003. The early […]

Federal election 2021: On health care, the song remains the same

Aug 25 2021 — Paul Wells — In my dream the faces change but the words never do. I’ve been watching politicians bicker over health-care models for as long as I’ve been covering politics. They do it because it works. It’s one of the oldest stories in the book—”my opponent wants to destroy the health-care system; only I will save it.” Every […]

Is a Conservative minority government even possible?

Aug 23 2021 — Paul Wells — It would hang on how the opposition parties vote, of course. And it’s hard to feature the NDP paving the way for Erin O’Toole to become prime minister. Justin Trudeau on Monday continued his Surprised By Canada tour, in which he flies from coast to coast warning Canadians about the looming threat of things that […]

The unexpected Erin O’Toole factor

Aug 23 2021 — Stephen Maher — I was sitting with reporters and staffers from the Liberal plane in a meeting room at Dalhousie University on Monday morning, waiting for the Prime Minister to hold a news conference, when a Conservative campaign official texted me a link to a video of Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland giving a speech Sunday as she kicked […]

The kinds of mistakes winning campaigns don’t make

Aug 23 2021 — Andrew MacDougall — Chrystia Freeland got involved in politics to make history. Sure, the Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell might have gotten to the Prime Minister’s Office first, but until Freeland there had never been a female minister of finance. Think what you will of Freeland or the party she represents; she is now an historic figure. It’s too […]

Change is on the menu. Will we order it?

Aug 21 2021 — Bruce Anderson — If you had to describe—in one word—U.S. national elections today, you could do worse than settle on chaos. Efforts to limit voting rights, redrawing boundaries for political ends, casting doubts on voting technologies, decrying the honesty of electoral officials—is it any wonder that trust is shredded? America’s embrace of “….all men are created equal” is […]

The Conservatives’ murky position on ‘conscience rights’ in health care

Aug 20 2021 — Justin Ling — Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives won’t say whether their plan to extend ‘conscience rights’ to doctors, nurses and health-care providers will permit denying care to LGBTQ people. O’Toole was hammered on the campaign trail on Thursday over a line in his platform which pledges that his hypothetical future government will “protect the conscience rights of healthcare professionals.” […]

338Canada: The Liberals cannot afford voter apathy

Aug 19 2021 — Philippe J. Fournier — Dissatisfaction with the federal government is on the rise, according to the newest poll from Abacus Data, which was on the field taking the pulse of Canadians when Justin Trudeau asked Governor General Mary Simon to dissolve the House of Commons. According to the results, only 41 per cent of Canadians believe the country “is […]

Erin O’Toole’s Grade 8 vision: become PM

Aug 19 2021 — Fatima Syed — I hesitate to say the word “yearbook” out loud in the middle of a Canadian federal election but bear with me: this is the story of a Grade 8 student in Port Perry, Ont., who decided his “probable fate” was to become prime minister of Canada and sealed this wish in a yearbook. In the […]

The Bulldog: 2021 federal election live news and commentary

Aug 18 2021 — — Watch this space for the very latest federal election news, featuring reporting and analysis from Paul Wells, Shannon Proudfoot, Jason Markusoff, Marie-Danielle Smith, Scott Gilmore, Jen Gerson, Adnan R. Khan, Justin Ling, Stephen Maher, Fatima Syed, Niigaan Sinclair, Andrew MacDougall and Philippe J. Fournier. Why do we call it The Bulldog? That’s old newsroom lingo […]

Nova Scotia proves an unhappy test run for the Liberals

Aug 18 2021 — Stephen Maher — Tim Houston’s upset victory in the Nova Scotia election on Tuesday night might be giving the federal Liberals reason to wonder if they would have been wiser to hold off on the election they hope will give them a majority. The result is not inherently predictive, obviously, since this is just one small province, and […]